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Feds Hold Up Buchanan's Nomination

  • Is there a political reason for the FEC, led by Republicrats only, to miss its widely publicized "dead line" of Sept. 6 for deciding the issue of Pat Buchanan, the Reform Party nomination, and who gets $12.6 million? Answer: Yes.
Exclusive to The SPOTLIGHT
By Clayton Potts

Pat Buchanan's campaign headquarters believed the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) would decide on Sept. 6 whether he is the legitimate Reform Party nominee entitled to $12.6 million.

Somebody at the FEC also thought a decision would be handed down that day at 11 a.m. But FEC officials were unsure if it would be a written decision or a press conference.

It turned out that the FEC had decided not to decide and a court hearing on Buchanan's suit to participate in presidential debates was being held at that time, contributing to the confusion.

Finally, the FEC said it would hold a public meeting on this issue Sept. 12.

A Sept. 6 "deadline" for the FEC decision had been widely published throughout the United States. But a FEC official said the panel had its own means of counting days.

Confusion has been the companion of politicians and bureaucrats during this election season.

Suspicions are voiced from various sources that the FEC's dalliance is politically motivated. If it cannot rationally explain denying Buchanan, it can help the two major candidates by delaying the decision.

Each day that Buchanan is denied the funds to get his message to the American people is a gain for the two Establish ment parties. The commission is made up of three Democrats and three Republi cans. There is no third-party representation.

It is crucial to the major parties to keep Buchanan effectively gagged because he raises issues both of the two old corrupt parties would rather keep from the public, especially that of the emerging world government and resulting loss of national sovereignty.

Meanwhile, as the FEC sits on a decision that is obvious to most people -- Buchanan had almost 100 percent support of convention delegates, won a mail-in "primary" by a 2-1 margin over rival John Hagelin and was certified as the nominee by the Reform Party -- the campaign itself keeps kicking along.

The date for Buchanan to debate Democratic nominee Al Gore on the subject of restoring ethics in government has been set for Oct. 20 at the new Ronald Reagan Building in Washington. Republican George W. Bush has yet to ac cept an invitation by Judicial Watch, the debate sponsor, to participate. Howard Phillips, Constitution Party nominee, will participate.

Buchanan is on track to be on the ballot in all 50 states. Reform rebels briefly had Hagelin on the ballot and not Buchanan in California. But now the Buchanan campaign says he is back on California's ballot.

The New York Right to Life Party has overwhelmingly endorsed Buchanan, automatically putting him on the state's ballot.

In New York, Buchanan can be on both the Reform and Right to Life ballots and all votes count in the pursuit of the state's electoral votes.

The Right to Life Party felt shunned by Bush's tepid stance against abortion and was repelled by Gore's current fierce advocacy of a "woman's right to choose," according to Donald Peters, the party's vice chairman.

As on so many issues, Gore was once strongly opposed to abortions but re vers ed himself out of political expediency, not principle.

Buchanan won about 90 percent of the party's districts in New York, Peters said, with some votes going to Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party, who is also strongly pro-life.